Ambani, Mittal among 'World's Most Powerful Billionaires'
Two Indians, energy mogul Mukesh Ambani and steel czar Lakshmi Mittal, have made it to the Forbes list of 'World's Most Powerful Billionaires' combining massive fortunes with political clout.
"Through his industrial might, India's richest person, Mukesh Ambani, ranks eighth," in the US business magazine's annual list topped by Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City. Mittal ranks 13th on the list.
Bloomberg also "lords over the media, finance and fashion capital of the US and arguably the world".
"Ambani controls oil and gas conglomerate Reliance Industries. With a market value of more than $73 billion, the firm is India's biggest independent company."
Compatriot Lakshmi Mittal - India's second wealthiest with a net worth of $30 billion - heads ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel maker, and ranks 13th on the list. The steel giant operates in 60 countries and has market value of $65 billion.
Mukesh Ambani, Forbes noted, inherited father Dhirubhai's massive industrial empire with brother Anil in 2002. "Brothers battled over power, divided assets. Mukesh controls energy entities; Anil leads banking and telecom companies."
Mittal started in the family steel business in the 1970s, broke out on his own in 1994 and is now planning joint iron venture in Liberia and Guinea with miner BHP Billiton, it noted. "Bought 12-bedroom mansion in Kensington for more than $100 million in 2004; was London's most expensive home at the time."
Billionaire Sebastian Piñera who won Chile's presidential election, defeating incumbent Eduardo Frei in a runoff vote is ranked 15th on the list which has two other billionaires currently running countries.
"Media and banking titan Silvio Berlusconi is prime minister of Italy and ranks second on Forbes list. Billionaire industrial heir, Saad Hariri, who was appointed prime minister of Lebanon Iast June, ranks fifth.
Rounding out the top five: Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim and Russian oil magnate Vagit Alekperov.
Apple's Steve Jobs ranks as the 18th most powerful billionaire in the world. Billionaires falling from the ranks this year include Oprah Winfrey, Roman Abramovich and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud.
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